FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Past Champions Gomes, Tergat, Ramaala, and Lel to Run in the
ING New York City Marathon 2009
Two-time winner Jelena Prokopcuka and 2000 champion Ludmila Petrova will
also compete in 40th running on November 1
A champion's bonus of $70,000 will be awarded to any previous winner who
claims victory this year
New York, September 16, 2009— Two-time winner and defending champion
Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil (2006, 2008) headlines an all-star
field of former champions including Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa
(2004), Paul Tergat (2005) and Martin Lel of Kenya (2003, 2007), Jelena
Prokopcuka of Latvia (2005, 2006), and Ludmila Petrova of Russia (2000) in
the ING New York City Marathon 2009 on Sunday, November 1, it was announced
today by New York Road Runners president and CEO and race director Mary
Also announced was the total guaranteed prize purse of $800,000, the
largest in race history and the most awarded in of any of the World
Marathon Majors series races. With the announcement of a new champion's
bonus of $70,000, any past champion who wins this year will collect a
first-place prize of $200,000.
"This galaxy of champions will be chasing the largest winner's purse in our
history and for several, another spot in our record book," said Wittenberg.
"We know already that they have the strength, the speed, and the smarts to
win on the streets of New York, and the question is whether they can find
that magic formula again this year."
Reigning ING New York City Marathon titlist Gomes, 32, made history when he
surprised a stellar field, including Tergat and Ramaala, in 2006 and became
the first South American winner and a hero in his home country. He repeated
his victory last year, finishing in 2:08:43. No man has won consecutive
titles in New York since John Kagwe of Kenya won in 1997 and 1998. A third
crown would tie Gomes with American running legend Alberto Salazar for the
second-most New York City Marathon men's titles. (American Bill Rodgers won
the race four times, from 1976 to 1979.)
"The New York City Marathon was the race that broke me into the ranks of
the world-class marathons, and training to win for a third time is
exciting," said Gomes. "It will be my fourth time in this great marathon,
and I believe that I will be ready to defend my title and claim my third
These athletes join previously announced U.S. Olympians Ryan Hall and Brian
Sell, who will both be making their ING New York City Marathon debut in the
final race of the 2008-09 World Marathon Majors series.
Lel, 31, is a three-time London Marathon winner (2005, 2007, 2008), setting
a then-course record of 2:05:15 in 2008. Earlier this year, Lel won his
third Lisbon Half-Marathon, after triumphs in 2003 and 2006. Lel will be
eager to return to New York after being forced to withdraw from last year's
event due to injury. Like Gomes, Lel will be gunning for a third title.
Tergat, 40, is a two-time Olympic medalist and former marathon world
record-holder; he finished fourth in last year's ING New York City Marathon
in 2:13:10. He held the world record in the marathon from 2003 to 2007,
with a time of 2:04:55, before it was broken by Haile Gebrselassie. Tergat
captured the 2005 crown in the closest finish in race history when he
outsprinted Ramaala, the 2004 winner, to win by three tenths of a second.
A four-time Olympian and two-time World Half-Marathon Championships silver
medalist, Ramaala, 37, will be competing in his sixth ING New York City
Marathon. He captured the marathon title in 2004 with a breakthrough win in
2:09:28, finished second to Tergat in 2005, and finished third in 2007.
Prokopcuka, 33, is a three-time Olympian and will be looking to tie Paula
Radcliffe for the second-most New York City Marathons won by a woman. Her
most recent marathon was Boston in 2008, where she placed fourth.
Petrova, 41, will be competing in her eighth New York City Marathon after
becoming the first Russian woman to win the title, in 2000. She was last
year's second-place finisher and she set a masters (over age 40) world
record with her 2:25:43 finish.
In celebration of the 40th running of the New York City Marathon, a group
of renowned past champions plan to run the 26.2-mile distance including
1983 winner Rod Dixon of New Zealand, 1988 winner Steve Jones of Great
Britain, 1998 winner Franca Fiacconi of Italy, two-time winner Orlando
Pizzolato of Italy (1984, 1985), and two-time winner German Silva of Mexico
(1994, 1995) who is known for his wrong turn into Central Park in the 26th
mile in 1994.
JUST THE FACTS
|Marathon Personal Best